I don’t know why we’re not all adding rice to our salads. It may sound weird to you, but if you’ve ever added croutons or quinoa or cous cous to your salad– this is no different. It adds a little more substance and texture to an otherwise ordinary arugula and strawberry salad. In my opinion, you have to use cold or room temperature rice– warm rice just doesn’t work here. Also, the combination of strawberries, goat cheese and herbs is SPOT ON. This is my new favorite summer salad and be prepared for other rice-salad variations. I’m hooked!
STRAWBERRY + HERBED RICE SALAD
- 1/2 cup of hazelnuts, chopped
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
- goat cheese
- 2 cups of cooked basmati rice, cooled
- 1 cup of basil, loosely packed
- 3-4 sprigs of dill, roughly chopped
- small handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- small handful of chives, roughly chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- sea or kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- To make the herbed rice, place the garlic clove in the blender or food processor and pulse until minced. Add the basil, dill, parsley and chives and blend until chopped finely. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon to 2 of extra virgin olive oil and pulse until combined and forms a green thick but runny paste. Add more olive oil if needed. Add a pinch of salt and pulse to combine. Taste the paste to make sure it has enough salt to flavor the rice.
- Toss the herbed oil with the rice until the rice is coated.
- Add several handfuls of arugula to a large salad bowl. Add tomatoes, strawberries, and herbed rice. Top with chopped hazelnuts and crumble goat cheese over. Garnish with smaller basil leaves and chopped dill.
- To make the dressing, in a small jar or bowl add 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and equal parts extra virgin olive oil (don’t forget your rice is already dressed so you don’t need a lot of oil in the dressing). Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk or shake and dress the salad